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Kwara denies borrowing N93b, says Popoola lied

By Odun Edward, Ilorin
01 April 2022   |   4:02 am
Kwara State Government has denied borrowing N93 billion in the past three years, putting a lie to the allegation by Saheed Popoola, representing Balogun/Ojomu Constituency in the House of Assembly, who had described the Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazak

Governor Abdulrazak

Assembly declares lawmaker’s seat vacant over defection
Kwara State Government has denied borrowing N93 billion in the past three years, putting a lie to the allegation by Saheed Popoola, representing Balogun/Ojomu Constituency in the House of Assembly, who had described the Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazak-led government as wasteful and visionless.

But the Commissioner for Communication, Bode Towoju, stated in Ilorin, yesterday, that the interest of the people remained paramount to the governor. He urged the people of the state to be wary of those out to mislead the populace for selfish political gains.

He said: “The N93 billion loan claim is spurious. How can you come up with such preposterous propaganda, when the facts of what the administration received are in the public domain? The government has spoken extensively on the bond it took, as well as the budget support/loan re-financing facility.

“There is a debt stock of N93 billion. For the sake of emphasis, contrary to the unfounded claims, the totality of this loan was not accrued over the last three years under the leadership of AbdulRazaq.”

Successive administrations in the state left a foreign loan of $43 million, the commissioner noted.

The loan secured by AbdulRazaq’s administration, according to him, is for projects such as the ongoing Gen. Tunde Idiagbon flyover at Tanke in Ilorin, the two campuses of the Kwara State University in Osi and Ilesha Baruba that were abandoned by the past administration, Osi–Obbo road, Ilesha Gwanara road and the many other projects.

Towoju advised Popoola to focus on the legislative business for which his constituents elected him, rather than chasing shadow.

MEANWHILE, the Assembly has declared Popoola’s seat vacant.

Speaker of the House, Yakubu Danladi, made the announcement yesterday during plenary.

Danladi noted that the declaration was in consonance with Section 109 (1)G of the Constitution.

According to him, the Constitution is clear, as Popoola ought to have vacated his seat, having defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to Social Democratic Party (SDP).

He explained that since there was no faction in the political party, which sponsored him, there should not be basis for him to dump it for another party.

The Speaker submitted that the House had informed the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state of the development last Monday for further action.

But Popoola stated that neither the Speaker nor the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) has the power to declare his seat or that of any member of the House vacant, arguing that only the courts have such powers.

He alleged that the House flagrantly disobeyed the order he had earlier secured from the High Court to stop the move.

“I told the court on Monday to stop them and they were served an injunction from the court yesterday. But they have declined and disobeyed the court order. It is them and the court that will face the whole thing now, not me,” Popoola said.